To My Shame … I think I might understand Hillary Adam’s mother

Major trigger warning for all former QF moms who read here at NLQ:(

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by Vyckie

Okay – I told myself not to watch that Judge Adams video, cuz I knew it would be triggering – but I followed the link posted by an NLQ forum member to Pandagon, read the article – and then played the video. God help me.

All I could think was – what ever must Hillary’s mom have been thinking? And the horrible thing about it is that I could guess what must’ve been going through her mind when she actively participated in the beating of her daughter.

I can remember many occasions in which my ex-husbands’s abuse of the children was so intolerable – I would actually jump in and take over because I knew that at least I’d be easier on the kids and their dad would be satisfied that he was right and the kid was wrong and I was acknowledging his rightness and fulfilling my Christian duty by upholding his authority – and so he would finally calm down.

::hangs head::

Did anyone else notice that the mother only gave Hillary one swat with the belt – and then thanked her for finally cooperating – and seemed relieved as she left the room?

That’s how it worked in our family too – especially with my oldest – I “disciplined” her in order to spare her from her dad’s anger.

Eventually, I guess I figured out that this tactic worked so well – so then when I could see trouble brewing – saw my kids defying their father, or even simply standing their ground when he insisted it was one way even though they could plainly see it was another way – so in an effort to head off the escalation of my Ex’s anger, I’d jump in there first and yell at the offending child and give them a “good talking to” – in the hopes that the child would respond “reasonably” to my more mild chastisement and their dad would be satisfied – abusive spanking session averted.

So my younger kids did not get nearly the number of whippings because I’d learned to abuse them first (to a lesser degree) in order to spare them from their father’s spanking sessions which were extremely similar to Judge Adam’s – only often, far worse.

And now, I’m sick.

Discuss this post on the NLQ forum.  Comments are also open below.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

  • lisbet

    There is is an interview with the mom and daughter posted here (the video only replays for about 10 seconds):
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/02/hillary-adams-judge-beats-daughter_n_1072350.html

    I couldn’t watch more than a minute of the video. It’s too awful. But I did watch this interview. I think your summation of the behavior of Hillary Adams’ mother was more articulate than she actually was on this show (clearly she’s still processing it). I hope she finds this forum. Maybe you can reach out to her? I know the daughter has a twitter account, and you could show her your website and ask for her mom’s contact info.

  • http://kats-brain.blogspot.com/ Kat

    Having been the child in this situation, I have to admit, I have a hard time finding any sympathy for the mothers that allow this to take place, no matter how religious they are. Ultimately, they are pimping their children out to their father’s violent and oppressive urges for the sake of some bullcrap “salvation.” Personally, I would rather burn in hell for all eternity than allow my child to suffer like that, because at least I would be secure in the knowledge that I did not bow down to such a cruel, tyrannical god that would demand this lifestyle. I don’t want to sound cruel myself (though I know I am going to), but how stupid can someone possibly be to think that this is appropriate behavior for anyone, let alone a parent toward their child? How intellectually lazy do you have to be to accept such bullcrap theology? Yeah, yeah, you “drank the kool-aid” and were manipulated, and blah, blah, blah, sorry, no dice. The mothers who allow this know they are allowing something morally wrong (the practice of using “softer abuse” to defuse the worse beatings proves they know something isn’t right to begin with!), and they let it continue. I have about as much sympathy for them as I do for the Nazis who were just following orders.

  • nolongerquivering

    Kat – I never said it was right or okay – only that I think I might understand.

    No Longer Quivering is not here to garner sympathy for those of us who abused or allowed our children to be abused in the name of Jesus. We’re here to expose the teachings and the ideals and hopefully shed some light on what really goes on in Quiverfull/patriarchal homes. None of us ex-QF moms here are making excuses – we take responsibility and sharing our stories here is a way to turn the heartbreak and suffering of our children into a warning for other moms so that at least we can hopefully prevent other children from going through what our kids suffered.

    Please read the NLQ series, “Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World” – starting here: http://nolongerquivering.com/2010/12/03/steadfast-daughters-in-a-quivering-world/ for a more complete perspective from the former Quiverfull moms of No Longer Quivering.

  • abba12

    I agree with spanking. That, right there, was NOT spanking. That was child abuse, and bashing/beating. The vast majority of QF parents I know would never advocate that. And that’s what gives so many of us a bad name, that minority of heartless idiots who torture their children, abuse their wives, and neglect their families. If my husband even came close to behaving like this, serious things would happen and the situation WOULD change.

    I’m sure in some churches the majority of families practice these things, It sounds like that was the case for many women here, but I don’t think that the majority of churches, or even a large minority of them, support this sort of behaviour. I hate that evangelical christianity is being blamed for this and accused of this. Some african americans are criminals, but does that mean the majority are? The vast majority are good people. Some homeschoolers neglect their childrens education, but surely you guys, of all people, while you might not prefer homeschooling any longer would recognise the majority of homeschoolers put a lot of time and focus into education.

    This man is a minority, and I hope his children are protected from him from this point onwards. He is not a fit father and is acting unbiblically. But his behaviour can’t reflect all spankers, it’s far from the truth.

    I’d also like to throw out there that beating a teenager with a belt is completely different to spanking a little child on the bum, and something even most QFers do not practice at all. And with all this talk about the Pearls it’s interesting to see how many big QF bloggers online are saying they do not agree with the Pearls philosophy.

    —–

    Having said all this, I do have sympathy for the way you feel Vyckie. It was not within QF circles, but in another situation in my past, I have been forced to do horrible things to prevent even worse horrible things occuring. I am angry at that woman for letting the abuse go that far, but the way she insists on spanking the daughter herself, etc… you can see quite clearly she was trying to help her daughter, as you did your children and as I did to the people I hurt. I suspect the sleeping on the couch was also protection, though I don’t like to imagine from what. It dosen’t make much sense outside that context.

    You did the best you could with an abusive husband, and I am glad you and your children are away from his abuse. But I can’t attribute his abuse to his religion anymore than I can attribute someones criminal record to their race. These men are abusive, and will be abusive no matter what they believe, because some men are just aggressive, abusive bastards.

  • Chakolate

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. At least you wanted to protect them.

    My mother let our father take us to the basement and ‘spank’ us. First with his hand, then when we got older and he felt it didn’t hurt enough, with a belt. Then he graduated to ping pong paddles (the ones with the little rubber nubbins on them) and finally to a rubber hose. All as hard as a grown man can swing, of course. My mother stayed upstairs and watched tv.

    I think the thing that really gets to me is that I accepted the idea that he had a *right* to beat me. If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have fought back, run next door and called the police.

    But I didn’t know, and really, neither did you. We can’t change the past, we can only do better in the future. And you’re doing very well indeed. You’re helping whoever reads your blog to realize that no one has the right to hit another person. No one.

  • http://allthewayout.wordpress.com/ Jane Douglas

    Abba12, in the follow up video that Lisbet posted above, Judge Adams insists that what he did *was* simply spanking. I’m sure his definition and yours differ. Like you, I can’t imagine that anyone could see the footage of Adams beating his daughter and feel it fell within the bounds of reasonable discipline. Certainly, had he beaten a stranger or stranger’s child like that, he’d have faced criminal charges.

    But there would be many people who would probably also consider any spanking at all abusive. This is why people worry about parents who spank because of a religious conviction. They fear that if you are spanking because of a belief, rather than necessarily using your own judgement, you could perhaps, as a flawed human, overstep what even spanking advocates consider a reasonable boundary and wound a child’s psyche permanently. I’m not suggesting that you are harming your children, of course I wouldn’t know, but I’m saying that with everyone drawing their lines in different places, and many supporting their differing positions based on the same book, it is pretty confusing for those on the outside. It’s not hard to see why many lay some blame at Evangelical Christianity’s feet – unfair though that may be.

    Can I just say that I didn’t read in the OP that Vyckie was suggesting Judge Adams beat his daughter out of a religious conviction. I think she was commenting on the difficult position a mother is in when she spends a good part of her life standing between her children and an abuser. Non-Christian women with violent husbands must face the same dilemmas. It seems to me Vyckie quite bravely and frankly gave us a glimpse of how hard it can be to always act appropriately in these situations. She’s not saying she – or the former Mrs Adams – did the right thing, but that she might understand what life was like for that woman, living with such a man.

  • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com KR Wordgazer

    Oh, Vyckie. Your pain for your children comes out so clearly here. I know what it’s like to realize you’ve done something terrible for the sake of religion and there’s no way you can undo it. I have to believe that healing is possible. Hugs to you.

  • ixo

    @abba12: Do children have no right to bodily integrity? It is illegal to “spank” an adult, but ok to do it to children, who are far more vulnerable?

    Luckily more and more countries are making beating/”spanking” children illegal, currently those are 31 states.
    http://www.endcorporalpunishment.org/pages/progress/prohib_states.html

  • Tess Willoughby

    Vyckie said, “None of us ex-QF moms here are making excuses – we take responsibility and sharing our stories here is a way to turn the heartbreak and suffering of our children into a warning for other moms so that at least we can hopefully prevent other children from going through what our kids suffered.”

    What else is there for us to do? We could “put it all behind us” and forget it ever happened–that would be much easier than reliving the trauma to get the word out–but as long as there is a chance we might get another mom to put down the kool-aid and start to heal, we will keep writing about it, to shed some light on the mystery of how a loving, tender mother turns into an abuser, sometimes assisting an even worse abuser, sometimes even becoming the worse abuser. These young Christian couples do not get married and say, hey, you know what? let’s have children and become brutal disciplinarians. They marry into a blind and isolated counterculture defined by a very cutthroat, merciless competition about who can have the “holiest” and “most biblical” marriage and raise the largest number of “godly” children. Enter nonstop marketing by clever people out to make a buck peddling easy biblical formulas to the homeschool crowd, each trying to be more no-brainer and more extreme than the teacher at the next homeschool conference booth. Time and simple psychology does the rest. I highly recommend the series “Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices” by Cindy Kunsman at the Under Much Grace blogspot for illumination on the psychological dynamics which occur in people who follow these teachers. http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-good-people-make-dangerous-choices_05.html

  • africaturtle

    this is a very brave post Vyckie. I think people don’t understand how these things are “progressive”, like the frog in the pot of boiling water analogy. It (often) starts when the child is young (“spare the rod spoil the child”) you learn to not “listen” to the crying of the child during a spanking b/c you understand that you are making the child suffer “a little” to avoid suffering “a lot” in the end (and i’m reffering to “normal” spanking here, not abusive beating). The problem is that the mother (at this stage) believes in spanking TOO so, she can’t really condemn the father’s action only feel bad that she thinks he is “overdoing” it (and maybe only occassionally).

    Most spanking families quit before the kids get into their teens, but there is no real reason for that (biblically). Is this video more shocking because the girl is a teen? I don’t know. A less lengthy, less violent session could be just as traumatizing for a little one, but it’s likely that her parents were used to her crying “don’t hit me” and “ignored” it b/c it’s something that had been going on since childhood… they were “used to” this form of discipline. It is likely that with time/age the sessions became longer and more violent, possibly justified BY the fact that she was older…

    The mother is faced with a few different options in these moments (obviously she’s been practicing “ignoring” her child’s pleas, or what some parent’s call “tough love”, for a while). She has the option of interfering but,there goes the “unified” parenting everyone endorses. She could try reprimanding her husband though that’s not really allowed for in the “honor and obey” part of the marriage vows….reinforced by all the “teachings” she’s heard on “godly submission/biblical headship”. Or even if she’s not (or even if she is!) a Christian she may just be plain ol’ scared! She could (as many of us may have tried) talk to him in private. She may have abandoned that technique long ago depending on what he told her… to “leave him alone”, or justifies his behaviour, or accuses her of being too “soft”(…and we already know the woman is more “easily deceived” so we’d better let our husband make the call on this one.)

    And so it continues and 16 yrs down the road you find yourself facing this situation…and what do you do? (divorce and appologize to her kids is what the mom in the story and Vyckie have done).

    The line between what is Biblical Discipline/Heavy-handed, Authoritarian parenting/Abuse is very fuzzy. At what point does the mom react? At what point have we “crossed the line”? Who defines that line??

    Yes the mom knows what is going on is not “right” (so easy for us to see on a video shot, less clear in emotionally-charged moments of real life) BUT what decision is she left with? Pack up the kids and go? where? Call the police? what can she say? spanking is not considered a crime in most states, in fact she’s not really sure if his behaviour really is criminal. Mean? yes. Criminal? that’s less clear.

    No one has ever clearly defined “abuse” to her, perhaps. Perhaps she reckons that life with a “difficult” dad is better than life without dad, period. The message is pretty rampant that one of the worst things that can happen to a kid is to suffer the divorce of their parents… this is in secular and religious sources alike. I’m sure, like many women in abusive situations, she consoled herself with the “it could be worse” line of reasoning. Maybe not, but that is a powerful line of logic.

    My Point? … I too, understand “how” you could find yourself wrapped up in this situation. I am thankful that because of the powerful testimonies here on NLQ I found the courage to say “NO!” loudly and clearly when our parenting (esp my husband’s) started going down this path of anger and violence. When you transition from thinking “Isn’t this over-doing it a little?” to recognizing quite clearly the path you’re on is HURTING you and your children and if you continue you will end up with the results that moms of teens have shared here, that is powerful. If i had been surrounded only by voices that told me to just “keep submitting and trust God”….:( I don’t even like to think about it. I’m very happy i’ve found this place, NLQ, and the women who share their stories here.

  • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen

    Well said, Africaturtle and Tess. I think that it helps to think of having compassion/understanding on the mothers as people, as something quite different from excusing what happened.

  • Caitlin

    You deserve a lot of credit for standing up for your children in the way that was safest and most effective at the time.

  • Melissa

    I am so glad that Hillary had the courage to post this horrible experience. (on youtube)I hope and pray this will open the eyes of some parents who just take it too far (brainwashed from the QF teachings)and the Moms who need to step in and help their kids!

  • abba12

    My comment towards religious conviction came from the original article linked to in vyckies post where it does bring religion into it.

    I suppose perhaps the debate that people should be taking up should not be whether or not to spank, but to define what spanking is and is not nationally. Perhaps it’s time we drew some proper lines.

  • abba12

    Children are not old enough to face the real concequences of their actions, we shelter children from them by giving them an artificial concequence they can understand.

    Adults can and should face the real concequences of their actions, which are often much worse than a spanking.

    Also, when an adult spanks a child a decent parent who is not under pressure from abuse does not do it as hard as they can, they are careful in the amount of force used. An adult hitting an adult is often violent and using full force, a completely different circumstance.

  • bee

    Saw this video in German Televison. These monsters belong in a prison, now! I can not believe it. Doesn’t your country have laws against child abuse? For this is child abuse. Who does something like this with children? How cowardly and stupid must someone be to do something like that? I mean, even monsters grow old and ill. If don’t spank b/c not out of respect for the person your child is, than it should bie out of fear for a revance. Can you imagin what a child that was abused like that will do to his or her parents, when they are in need of care? He who sows the wind shall reap the storm.
    And: Do not tell me that these crimes are taught as methods of education. Where are such methods taught? In the manual for concentration camp guards?
    AND: This is not part of Christian culture. Educators like Philip Neri, Don Bosco and Montessori belong to Christian culture. Idiots who start screaming four letter words at their children and then beat them with a belt, should not call themselves Christians. To do something like this is a grave sin. And b/c it is a grave sin the abuse scandals in the church are scandals.
    Apart from the fact that whenever someone uses strong language like this, perhaps should disciplin him/her self. Behave like that in the public and everyone thinks you’re asocial or drunk or both. How can anyone let themselves go like that? That would be disgusting even without the beating.

  • bee

    And: Yes, Hillary does not deserve to live with monsters like that. She deserves parents.

  • colleenjane

    I think your assessment of Hallie’s actions is correct. In the very beginning of the video I believe her say to her monster husband, “I already spanked her”. And I also observed what appeared to be her attempt to diffuse his anger and get it over with. The statute of limitations should not begin until she turned 18, but it still could be too late.

  • emily

    Shouldn’t this post also contain a trigger warning for abused daughters?

  • emily

    “I can remember many occasions in which Warren’s abuse of the children was so intolerable — I would actually jump in and take over ”

    Did you ever consider calling the police or any other alternative to joining in the abuse?

    “Did anyone else notice that the mother only gave Hillary one swat with the belt — and then thanked her for finally cooperating — and seemed relieved as she left the room?”

    I noticed an adult woman hold a conversation with an adult man where she told him of a child’s behaviour and then picked up a belt and screamed in the child’s face before walloping her with it.

    “my younger kids did not get nearly the number of whippings because I’d learned to abuse them first (to a lesser degree) in order to spare them from Warren’s spanking sessions which were extremely similar to Judge Adam’s — only often, far worse.
    And now, I’m sick.”

    But your children got some whippings? And you shared in administering the spankings? Worse than on that video?

    And your children spent this summer with that same man?

  • Lilah

    This is really enlightening. I have often gotten angry when I have seen women fail to protect their children from their abusive fathers and stepfathers. It has never occurred to me until now that sometimes when these women participate in the abuse, in their minds at least, they are attempting to protect their children. I have to admit this is all foreign to me, since I was raised by a single mother with no father figure present. My mother is an alpha female and has always taught me to never take crap from a man. I know that I probably shouldn’t say this, since it isn’t fair to paint all men with the same brush, but stories like this often make me glad I grew up without a father.

  • Gen

    Uhm, you’re still hitting someone smaller than you, who you have absolute power over in the most literal sense of the word.

    And even if an adult DIDN’T hit another adult with “full force”, even if they just swatted them or *touched* them inappropriately they’d still be liable for prosecution. Why are kids, the most vulnerable section of our society, not given the same protection?

    As an added bonus, it would make things like this video much less common than it currently is (one can hope).

  • Gen

    It’s really easy to judge when you’re outside of the situation, isn’t it? As someone who was once the daughter in a situation identical to this video, I can only tell you: it’s not that simple for the mom. I wish it was, but it really isn’t.

  • Gen

    Thank you for your bravery, Vyckie. I think that your strenght, and that of other mothers who managed to leave (no matter how late in your own/your children’s lives! Just leaving sends such a powerful message!).

    You realized that you were wrong and had the strength to back away and face the repercussions of backing away and continue to face up to the consequences of what you chose (choices based on faulty input from the start, too!).

    Thank you for the work you do here.

  • Gen

    Paging missing sentence fragment, please report to paragraph one.

    Supposed to read “…your strength and that of other mothers who managed to leave(parenthesis) is phenomenal and inspiring.”

  • Pressing On

    Yes, definite trigger here for an abused daughter! I couldn’t watch it for long.

    Still, this needs to be talked about. What is protrayed here is WRONG. Talking about how WRONG this type of thing is must be done.

  • emily

    And you are basing your judgement that I am ‘outside’ the situation on what, exactly? I am sorry for your own bad experience, but I cannot draw your conclusions from my experience. I have questions that I feel it is legitimate to pose to Vyckie.

    Vyckie posted on an open forum (she has actually posted the same thread in several places around the internet) and I had hoped she would respond to comments.

  • philosophia

    It is significant to me that her mother’s swat was not about the act which prompted the punishment, but about her not submitting to the punishment “Like a grown woman”.

  • Candide33

    This goes along with the story this week of the book by some christian preacher that taught parents how to beat their children with a piece of PVC pipe and so the readers of that book have killed three children with the pipe.

    http://www.newser.com/story/132725/preachers-spanking-book-linked-to-3-child-deaths.html

    When abuse becomes a religion there is no reasoning with anyone involved because religion is protected even until death.

  • emily

    Yes, indeed. It seemed to me like the mother has an expectation of her child to behave like the ‘grown woman’ that she herself wasn’t. It was interesting to see the mother and daughter on the Today show. I wonder if the daughter will continue to sympathise with her mother as she continues to grow and re-evaluate the situation? It is not unheard of for abused children to form a relationship with the ‘least worst’ parent while they are still young and vulnerable, but to experience further struggles with them later on.

  • Sarah

    I so wish I hadn’t watched this video. It keeps playing through my head, and I’d do anything to make it go away. I honestly believe that striking a child with any weapon, be it a belt or PVC pipe or whatever, should be illegal. I also don’t think it should be legal to strike a child more than once, and only then it should be used for extreme situations. Example, if your kid runs in the road or tries to touch a hot burner, then you should definitely give them a swat because the alternative is much worse! I’m a mom of 2 who has spanked her kids in the past, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it does NOT work. It works in the moment (hence my comment about running in the road, reaching for the stove) but it doesn’t correct the behavior long term.

  • Sarah

    Telling your child to submit to abuse “like a grown woman” is just setting them up to be abused by their spouse later on! I am a grown woman, and if someone hits me, I’ll press charges and have them thrown in jail!

  • Dana

    I just can’t condone corporal punishment in any way. There is no excuse to “spank” a child to teach them morals. You can’t teach a child not to act out with violence. It is like avoiding a war with a war. Makes no sense to me. I have hit my child maybe a total of 2 times in his life. I have never fealt so guilty. You can’t teach respect with disrespect. I do commend you ladies for coming out of darkness and venting your pain. It is healing to talk about our pasts. I was an abused wife. Abuse is ALWAYS wrong. No matter if it is towards a child , man or woman. It lessens the child. But healing is a long road.

  • valsa

    Interesting how your post is all about YOU, Vyckie. Why YOU abused your children. How sick YOU feel about it now.

    I, for one, will not be joining the other posters here as they pat you on the back for having the courage to make excuses for why you abused your children.

  • http://allthewayout.wordpress.com/ daisy

    Valsa, have you never done anything you’ve regretted? Can you imagine being convinced something is right to do, and later finding out you were wrong, that your belief harmed the very dear ones you were trying to protect? It’s easier to do than you’d think. In hindsight, we can see how religious delusion, fear and our own personalities all conspired to lead so many of us into error. And although it’s almost impossible, even for us, to see how we could ever have thought that spanking a child was a loving act, at the time every mother did the very best she was able.

    Vyckie and many other mothers here adore their children and always wanted to do the very best they could by them. We believed the best way was to trust the bible’s advice on child rearing. We made some big mistakes because of this.

    Publicly admitting you made mistakes *is* brave. And identifying that there were causes isn’t making excuses, but it may help others to see their similar errors and stop before real harm is done. Attacking those who have made themselves vulnerable by telling the whole truth isn’t brave at all though. I’m glad the wrongness of spanking children is obvious to you, but you’ll make other mistakes, Valsa. And when you do, some people will question your motives, and wonder how you could possibly claim you thought those actions seemed a good idea at the time.

    The truth is, good people with good motivations are capable of making some terrible mistakes. It’s not those who admit their mistakes and change their ways we need to worry about, but those who conceal those errors and continue in them.

  • valsa

    Daisy, while I have done things I’ve regretted, none of those things involved hurting someone else- particularly someone I claim to love more than anything and who completely trusts me to protect them. Never. And I can guarantee you they never will. I’ve never put my own selfishness, ambition, and convenience above the well-being of others.

    Vyckie is not brave, she’s self-centered. As I pointed out, this post was all about HER feelings and HER motivations (a re-occurring theme from her) Hell, she even posted a warning that the video might be triggering for former QF moms. That goes to show you exactly where her attention is- on the moms (i.e., people just like herself) Don’t you think it might have been a little less self-centered to realize that the video is likely to be FAR more triggering for the former QF children who read here? Seeing as they’re, you know, the people who actually were getting beaten like this throughout their childhoods.

    I don’t think admitting that you beat your children, for any reason, is brave. I think it just goes to show that you cared more about yourself and what you were getting out of the relationship you stayed in than about the defenseless people you were supposed to be protecting. Lots of people do bad things because they thought they were doing what was right- it NEVER makes it excusable.

  • africaturtle

    …so what do you deem an acceptable course of action for a parent who has messed up royally and who recognizes it and who has worked to change themselves and their situation for the better?? Are we not allowed to change? Are we not allowed to talk about what happened?

    On the one hand i understand the indignation “there is no excuse for this!”, on the other hand…you’re pretty much saying either once you’ve messed up there’s no redemption, or that if you change your ways you should shut-up about your past and pretend you’ve always been the *wonderful* person you are today…

  • africaturtle

    plus you seem angry that this is *only* from the mother’s point of view. (and i would probably agree that not including daughters in the trigger warning was an unfortunate oversight, as it has been pointed out by more than one person…) nonetheless, there are plenty of posts on this blog that DO cover the daughters point of view, that are written BY the daughters themselves… check them out, if you haven’t already.

  • Gen

    And you are basing your judgement that I am ‘outside’ the situation on what, exactly?

    On your vitriol and attacks and your lack of understanding of what is meant with “religious brainwashing”. I believe anyone who’s ever been abused herself and had to watch her kids be abused with no recourse, no one to turn to and no other answers than “this is what God wills, you can not act against God” would have more sympathy, but I am willing to concede that I may be naive and optimistic in that way.

    Vyckie posted on an open forum (she has actually posted the same thread in several places around the internet) and I had hoped she would respond to comments.

    I do not speak on behalf of anyone, especially not Vyckie (who is not MANDATED to answer your questions), but I’ll answer your questions as if they were directed to me and my mother’s situation.

    “Did you ever consider calling the police or any other alternative to joining in the abuse?” – It’s hard to call the police if your entire religious system and everyone you know tells you that it CAN’T be abuse and you may only think it’s abuse because you’re a weak, emotional *woman*, which is synonymous for irrational and unreliable and a tool for Satan to use. If you did call the police and got your husband investigated, you’re PROVING that Satan is working through you, because the man, your husband, is placed in his superior position by God Himself and is given orders and instructions by God Himself for your family’s health that you, being a lowly, satan-infested woman, can not even begin to comprehend.

    So no, that consideration wasn’t even an option in my mother’s situation. And the above answer goes for your other questions too.

    Any doubt at all in the heart of the mother that the father is doing the right thing, any thought that hey, this crosses the line, is PROOF, in this religious brainwashing, of an infestation by satan and his demons for questioning GOD and His authority.

    Best (meaning worst!) about this? The mothers enforce this on themselves as much as the rest of their community enforces it on them.

    I mean, think about it. Really, think about it.

    If you really believe that you are an unreliable vessel whose worth is nothing if not through God and who is a “historically” proven vessel of Satan and thus susceptible to satanic suggestions and sins from the get-go, and if you really want to mean something (which you can only do through God, remember) and do the right thing (which is everything God and by extension, your husband says and does, remember), it’s really not that difficult to get trapped in a situation like this.

  • Gen

    Please read my response above to Emily – it’s easy to judge if you do not understand how insidious and crazy-making religious brainwashing is.

  • emily

    I do believe that the brain-washing is insidious. I do believe that everyone makes mistakes.

    But I believe that there are ways to go about making amends and that humility, sadness and apologies help in that process way, way more than excuses.

    I am grateful to all the posters here for sharing their perspectives and enhancing my understanding. I remain sceptical about Vyckie’s motives in posting this here and elsewhere on the internet because her message and tone do seem to indicate that, so far, this post is all about her. I remain super-concerned for her kids who may still be in danger whilst in custody of the father who abused them. :(

  • emily

    Thank you for your comments.

    My questions were directed to Vyckie and I recognise that she is not mandated to answer them, but since she hosts this website and has posted this same thread in several places on the internet, I trust that she is interested in dialogue and will be patient in awaiting her response.

  • Gen

    I understand and respect your concerns regarding the children, share them, and thank you for them.

    My experience is that it’s the system that’s horrible and abusive and that needs attacking, and that attacking one set of victims (the women) won’t help the other set of victims (the children) while they are all stuck in this same abusive system.

    It’s a horrible situation and my heart twists every time I think of all the people still trapped in this, suffering abuse every day and believing that it’s right and proper… Ugh. It IS horrible.

    My personal opinion, and one that many people strongly disagree with, is that until religion no longer enjoys “untouchable” status, there will remain no truly effective ways to address this hydra of “Authority in Sky Said Men should have absolute authority so it’s OK to abuse the kids and then manipulate the courts to keep custody because it’s my religion“.

  • http://hupotasso.wordpress.com Charis

    I, for one, identified with Vyckie in this post and appreciated hearing from the mother’s POV. Personally, I confess that I gave up the forum because of the bitterness and vitriol of some people (daughters? feminists?) toward QF mothers. To me, the ministry of nolongerqivering comes across as MORE oriented toward recovery of daughters/children than the mothers.

    The QF mother is the villain who must constantly be taken to task for her failures. :(

    In THIS post, I feel understood!

    Thankfully, my own children have been extremely forgiving and compassionate toward me and understanding that I did not hurt them intentionally and I have nothing but regret for standing by and allowing them to be hurt.

  • nolongerquivering

    Emily – do you not understand that I am not in a position to “dialogue” here? If I respond to your accusative questions with personal information regarding the actual situation, I will be guilty of defensiveness, narcissism, of sharing TMI about my children, not respecting my children’s privacy, etc., etc. If, on the other hand, I keep my mouth (keyboard) shut and post no response – then I am suspected of trying to cover up some secret family evil and I am assumed to be guilty as charged.

    My oldest daughter and I are now in the process of reconciliation – today, she is coming home for the first time in over a year. It was with her understanding and approval that I posted this (admittedly very ego-centrical) gut reaction which I had to the Adam’s video. I realized too late that I have again set myself up in a no-win situation of speculation and accusations. I know that there is no honest response I can give which will not make a bad situation worse.

  • emily

    I didn’t know that you had a no-dialogue policy here. It is common on internet blogs for conversation to take place in the comments section so your position seems unusual to me. I am sorry for misunderstanding that.

    I am glad to hear that you are in a process of reconciliation with your daughter. I was certainly not making assumptions about ‘secret family evil’; I was however responding to the actual words you used in the blog entry that you chose to make public, here and elsewhere. I was asking questions about your own behaviour, not your children’s – I asked if you yourself participated in whipping children and if you considered calling the police as an alternative to joining in. I don’t think those are unreasonable things to ask.

    I also shared a completely different perspective on what I saw in the Hillary Adams video – in response to the “Did you notice..” question that you posited.

    Really, did you expect that you could post that and receive only positive feedback and acceptance?

  • Tracy

    Okay, watched the video. What I saw was NOT good parenting. Spanking a teenager?? Really??? BUT, as I read further, I found it quite disturbing that this video was made years ago and she sat on it until “just the right time”. This gal claims she wants her father to “get help” Why post it on youtube for the world which will almost certainly destroy him as opposed to getting him the help she is claiming he needs. I think it was nothing but pure spite and blackmail. And I love how the website that posted that said they couldn’t find anything on his religion but figured as a conservative, he must be a Christian anyhow so they’ll just use this to take a swipe at Christianity anyhow, despite a complete and total lack of evidence of that small detail. Since we are generalizing, I could jsut as easily say that I’ve known an awful lot of corrupt lawyers and judges to the point that this is almost the norm. This could just as easily be an indictment on the hypocrisy of politicians/lawyers/judges as it is on Christianity, especially as there appears to be absolutely zero evidence of this man’s actual beliefs floating around out there for all those armchair social commentators. The entire comment string on Pandragon seems to just be a jumping off point to bash anyone even remotely associated with Christianity and/or conservative politics. Nice.
    Now I will say this: whenever you hear of children turning on their parents in some way, it does not happen in a vacuum. The very fact she would try and blackmail her father like this speaks volumes about the way this girl was raised. There’s just a whole lot that’s disturbing about this entire situation and I’m not entirely sure that all my sympathy goes to the daughter.
    I’m also with those who have noticed that these ex QF women just divest themselves of any and all personal responsibility as they completely and totally blame the men and the system for their own moral failings.

  • http://hupotasso.wordpress.com Charis

    Speaking of “vitriol of some people toward QF mothers”, I saw the comment following mine and realized that I overlooked “holier than thou” fundies.

    Blech! Gives Jesus a bad name…

  • Gen

    Indeed. Speaking as a feminist, I find it fascinating that it comes so easy to society as a whole (Not talking about the kids here, of which I was one, once) to just blame the mother, even though the mothers themselves are victims as well!

    It’s so much easier to hold the mother up to these impossible, inhuman standards of “should have” rather than understand the dynamics of abuse and abuse victims and abusive relationships and the fallibility of the human spirit which we’re all guilty of at once stage or another, especially when something like religion is thrown into the toxic mix.

    No no, as a mother it’s your DUTY to be perfect and know the correct thing to do at all times and do that, amirite? Because obviously, those instructions for doing the right thing at all times and how to know what the right thing is when you’re stuck in a ridiculously horrible situation and all the options are bad, some are just worse than others, in other words for being perfect, they came with the womb and the breasts, don’t they?

    Sorry for the snark, it just makes me angry to see people so blithely dismissing these very real and often literally life-threatening (or at least soul-threatening, if religion is thrown in) consequences to the mother for “rebelling” against their abusive spouses with “yeah, well she should have done better”. As Maya Angelou said (paraphrased): We do what we know how. When we know better, we do better. And I’ll stop my rant now :)

    As for the children, I will admit that it took me a while to fully understand as much as I do now without actually having been in an abusive marriage, but ever since I started seeing my mother as a human being who can also be scared and have that fear influence her decisions, convinced that something is right when it’s actually wrong and thus make mistakes, and make the wrong decisions just like all the rest of us human folk, my own internal “mother blaming” had become effectively silenced.

    It helped A LOT that my mom was honest about her mistakes and recognized them as mistakes, and TOLD ME that she recognized them as mistakes. Honestly, that was a HUGE part of my healing, and hers too. Her being honest about things like this really, really helped. I mean, there’s such a clear difference between “Wow, that really could have been me, I could have reacted like that in this situation, it horrifies me how wrong I was!” and “Yeah, it happened kid, oh hey look, there’s something I did to you once. So did you get over it yet? I said I was sorry, DIDN’T I?” or whatever “excuses” or something it is that some people seem to see in this post.

    I wish healing and strength to you and all the other moms (Vyckie, Tess and others) and your children.

  • Gen

    I feel that you are being dishonest and attacking, twisting Vyckie’s words, which is unnecessary. Also, your “completely different perspective” is something that any mother, never mind mothers from abusive relationships, have heard ad nauseam and in fact, tend to torture themselves with constantly. “Why didn’t I? Could I have? I could have, would have, should have”. Because hindsight is 20/20 and it’s much clearer to see and judge when you’ve never been in a situation like this.

    Vyckie didn’t say she had a “no dialogue policy”, she said that whatever she said to defend herself would only serve to worsen her “crimes” to you so there’s no way to have an honest dialogue. To quote her, it’s a “no-win” situation because all you seem to be interested in is “taking her to task”, something which, I assure you, she and every woman is quite capable of doing herself and have done, often, on this very blog.

    Also, lets’ suppose that the mother in this video had actually called the police. Tell me honestly, what do you see happening from there? The kids taken away from their parents for “parental discipline”?

    Remember, not everyone has videos of the abuse. Would a court case against “parental discipline” really succeed? I mean, spanking is legal and up to the discretion of the parents, isn’t it? Is what happened in this video against the law of the State of Texas? And would a judge see it as such? A judge like the man in the video, who himself is a FAMILY COURT judge?

    And, most importantly: What would happen to that woman and the daughter who made the video AFTER? After she called the police, after the case gets thrown out, and after that husband gets home?

  • emily

    “Also, lets’ suppose that the mother in this video had actually called the police. Tell me honestly, what do you see happening from there? The kids taken away from their parents for “parental discipline”?”

    I believe it has already been established that Judge Adams would have been liable to face charges before the statute of limitations ran out at the 5-year mark.

    Hillary Adams reported being bruised and unable to move normally after the beating. If what Vyckie says is true, and her child was subjected to beatings that were ‘much worse’ then it would certainly have been a legitimate police matter.

    I realise that not everyone makes the ‘right’ choices in a heat of the moment situation but I am curious as to what factors are at play when someone chooses to stay in a relationship at the point that the abuse extends to children. I agree that there is a ‘system’ to blame. I most certainly hold the abusive father to blame. As a feminist myself I do not lay all the blame at the feet of the mother in cases like these.

    But of we are to learn from these situations, I think it is helpful to look at all factors, and Vyckie’s behaviour was a significant factor here. Yes I am shocked and yes I am questioning. I have read most of Vyckie’s backstory and never heard her disclose the extent of the abuse before, and that is why I posted my questions to Vyckie.

  • tarabrae

    I can’t watch the video of the beating, because it triggers too many crappy memories. I was abused by my mother a lot as a child, and while it wasn’t openly sanctioned by our religious group, it wasn’t discouraged at all either.

    I understand what Vyckie is saying here. I understand what she means by giving the beating herself in order to avoid a harsher one being given by someone else. And I understand the heavy indoctrination that leads to a parent believing that what is happening is, if not completely right, then something they cannot avoid, and must be submitted to because of religious dogma. I’m glad that hasn’t been my path, but I understand how it happens.

    It’s really common in abusive families for one parent to try and mitigate the “punishments” being meted out. For the mother to take on the role of diciplinarian, or for an older sibling to do it, to try and make it more bearable. That doesn’t make it right, and no-one here is saying it does.

    It’s also easy to say “why didn’t you leave”, or “why didn’t you stop it”, or “how could you…”. If you’ve worked with women and families in cases of extreme abuse, where every single moment of their day is monitored, where every cent is counted, where socialising is supervised so intensely that it is impossible to ask for help, then you would be familiar with how impossible it is for women to leave. Add in some indoctrination as to the dominance of the man, the order to submit to god, and the fact that these women have to leave behind their family and friends to escape, and leaving, even thinking of leaving, can seem like a dream.

    I’m a victim of abuse. My mother was a victim of abuse. Her abuse of me wasn’t right, and isn’t excused by her own abuse. But I understand how she got there, and I can feel some sympathy for that.

    Unlike Vyckie, my mother refuses to acknowledge her abusive behaviour. She rejects what happened, and expects me to forgive and forget, wipe the slate clean. I can’t do that. I cannot forgive the beatings, the abuse, the neglect. And I will never forget them, since they affected me so deeply. My own mothering journey has suffered a lot because of my fear that I will do the same things to my own children.

    I respect Vyckie’s post, and her honesty about what she did, and how wrong it was. And I would be offended if she tried to write about her children’s experiences of the abuse – THAT is not her story to tell, it is theirs and theirs alone.

  • http://bondageandflowers.wordpress.com Trish

    Actually, that’s not what you’re doing. You’re JAQing off: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/JAQing_off

    To summarize: “JAQing off is the act of spouting accusations while hiding behind the claim of “Just Asking Questions”.”

    While you may think a helpful solution to “learn from these situations” would be to ask blaming questions towards someone who has suffered from this abuse. I believe the best thing to do first in this scenario is research the damaging effects of domestic violence on its victims. There is plenty of data and information available on the internet right at your finger tips.

    The data is already there, we know why it happens, and why it continues to happen. People have been blaming victims for their own abuse with these kind of questions for a really long time, and the attitude as achieved nothing.

    I feel that you are being willfully obtuse and insensitive when you posed these harmful blaming questions towards Vyckie. I hope that you can see the damaging nature of your initial questions. It’s very easy to think that you would not react in the same way if it was you in that situation, and I know all of us have thought of that at some point in time. However the truth is that it can happen to any one of us, with that in mind we need listen, be supportive, and informed.

  • Emma

    Can I repeat the request that several other people have made that someone put a clearer trigger warning on this post? Because while I’m sure it’s triggering for some ex-QF moms, this is definitely ALSO triggering for anyone who’s been a victim of physical abuse as a child.

  • Rabbit

    Though it may have been painful to write, and the video may have been painful for you to view. I am thankful that you have done so because you gave me a perspective on the events that I would not have were I to watch it without your commentary. So I thank you.

  • denelian

    i didn’t watch that video here – i went BSOD for like, 3 days, after i watched. HIGHLY triggering.

    those who are attacking Vyckie for being honest and open and analyzing *herself* – seriously? i mean, gods forbid that ANYONE who happens to be a mother EVER take some time to talk about HERSELF. Vyckie has written, a LOT, about her kids. not in detail, no – that’s just a Bad Idea. her kids deserve as much anonymity as possible [all kids do]. but to bitch because “all she’s talking about is HERSELF” in those post is just rude. and agressive. and did i mention RUDE? for fuck’s sake, people – we’re all HUMAN. there’s a difference between discussing the REASON one did something and “making an excuse”. in NO WAY was Vyckie attempting to side-step, to say that she DIDN’T do wrong, or was “justified” and “here’s the excuse”. she was taking full responsibility [and, to my knowledge, HAS taken full responsibility since AT LEAST the first day this website was up].

    lay off. when you’re stuck in a crappy situation where your only choices are Evil A and Evil B, then come back and talk.
    because lets be REAL hear – escaping abuse is one of the hardest things for women to do. particularly if they have children. children are EXPENSIVE, and in most cases, leaving would mean homelessness or other hardship. Vyckie has either 2 or 3 kids who have continual, chronic, medical conditions that have required multiple surgeries. she has 7 [i think?] children. she was constantly ill, constantly over-loaded, and her ex was ALSO disabled.
    and if you don’t understand, at all, how sapping chronic pain ALONE is, there’s nothing i can do to explain it to you. i mean, i could recite The Parable Of The Spoons, but the Catch-22 of chronic pain is that those who haven’t suffered NEVER believe it’s as bad as it is – and those WHO do/have suffered it NEVER believe anyone else has suffered as badly as they.

    we have an incredibly complicated and convoluted court system. the statutes surrounding abuse are murkey and vary not just by STATE, but also often by county AND city. what’s abuse in one area isn’t abuse in another. in one place, hitting with your hand is illegal, but a wooden spoon is kosher – in another, it’s reversed – in yet a third, ANY physical punishment is abuse. the PENALTY for abuse is even murkier, unless the abused ends up in critical care. then there’s the always-present victim blaming – what SEVERAL here have done to Vyckie, being that she was *just as much* a victim of abuse as her children, even if she ALSO played the role of abuser.

    my point: IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLE. it’s NOT easy to leave an abuser. my best friend was being abused in almost every way by her now-ex husband. one of the reasons she stayed with him? it wasn’t just that he threatened to hunt down and kill HER – but also her family and also *ME*. he’d lovingly tell her exactly how he’d kill each and every one of us while making her watch, before raping her and then killing her. when she tried to get a restraining order, she was told she needed “proof”. he rarely HIT her, there was no “proof”, and like most police, they didn’t feel at ALL compelled to even LISTEN to her when she explained how he raped her, let alone the threats. *I* tried to file a restraining order, since he threatened to kill me TO MY FACE. but, again, i didn’t have “proof” – witnesses who heard him weren’t “proof”.

    that’s an extreme example from my personal experience. i’ve worked in women’s shelters, i could write stories for DAYS about the danger of leaving an abuser. if the abuser isn’t trying to kill you, it’s often SAFER, physically, to stay and be abused. and, OF COURSE, when a woman’s abused, or when her kids are abused, two things are said. the first is “what did she to *make him* abuse her” – because, you know, it’s ALWAYS the victims fault! [this comes from people not ever wanting to feel like the liked an abuser - if they can blame the victim, then OBVIOUSLY their friend isn't an ABUSER, she MADE him do it. or he MADE her do it. or he made HIM do it, or she MADE her do it.] the SECOND thing said is “why didn’t s/he JUST LEAVE?” again, this is blaming the victim – if s/he had just LEFT, there “wouldn’t/couldn’t” have been abuse, right? i’ve seen people LITERALLY cross the country to hunt down the person they were abusing, for have the unmitigated GALL to leave! they don’t have the RIGHT, in the abuser’s mind, TO leave. the abuser almost always believes that s/he OWNS the victim(s) – not helped, in the case of both marriage and children, of a societal understanding that they DO own their victims [in marriage, this isn't AS legally true as it once was - but is still all-too-true when it comes to children.]

    and i have got to be honest here – while Vyckie has a great site, it’s geared towards helping people escape from QF situations – it is NOT here to teach you, the random reader, the dynamics of abuse. even those of us who were the abused children. Vyckie absolutely DOES NOT owe ANYONE ANY explanation for ANYTHING, except those she directly harmed – with whom she has worked hard to explain, to not repeat, to make up for as much as possible. i think that those who are attacking Vyckie are doing so in leiu of those who ACTUALLY abused them. that’s a guess, not a statement. if so, you’re just creating more pain – for both you AND Vyckie. and NO, you do NOT get to cause Vyckie even MORE pain because she, in some ways, at some point while insane*, did things that your abusers did. she’s NOT responsible to YOU for anything. the people to confront are your abuser, NOT VYCKIE. it’s actually incredibly unhealthy to lash out at Vyckie instead.

    *I don’t use this word lightly, and i’m not sure either Vyckie or the other ex-QF people would agree with that specific word. but i can’t think of anything that describes it better – they were insane, the opposite of sane and rational. not because they believed in God, but because the believed in the God they believed in, that *specific* image of God, and then felt they could control what God did by following these specific warped, out of context teaching. the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results”. they, the ex-QF moms, did the same thing over and over and OVER, expecting that THIS time they could submit enough, be humble and meek enough, be GOOD enough, be “saved” enough, be a good enough wife/mother/caretaker/housekeeper, TO CHANGE THE BEHAVIOR OF AN ABUSIVE MAN. the few ex-QF men who have posted have done the same – if they could just control more of their children’s and wives’ lives, just get them to submit this tiny inch more, wear longer skirts, whatever, then they’d have a GOOD family that they wouldn’t have to spend every waking moment obsessing over – because, to those men, their wives’ and children’s ENTIRE FUTURE depends on THEM, ALONE.
    those are INSANE THINGS TO DO. to believe that way, to keep doing the SAME THING to get a different result… of course i feel more sympathy and empathy for the kids, being that *I* was an abused child and teen – but that doesn’t mean that i can’t grasp where the ADULTS were coming from. it’s the scary thing about empathy – you can, in some fashion, *understand* almost anything. abusers abuse out of fear. victims take it out of fear and love. i don’t have to AGREE with something to UNDERSTAND it.
    those of you who are Christian and attacking Vyckie, i remind you of several things Jesus said, paraphrased. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone – oh, wait, there’s NO ONE with NO sin. walk a mile in his shoes – rather, when asked to walk a mile, walk TWO. [the literal meaning - Roman soldiers could demand the service of non-voting residence to carry their gear for a mile, but Jesus said to walk 2 - doesn't displace the underlying message] put yourself in the place of the other person. you may not AGREE, but you CAN understand. Don’t judge – that’s for God alone. and Love – it’s the only REAL Commandment that’s actually still enforced, the ONLY Commandment that was WORTHY of further enforcement, after Jesus came. LOVE.

  • http://marriedat12.blogspot.com Dina @ married at 12

    Thank you for this – It helps give me some insight about why my mom joined in the abuse and even “prepared” us for sexual abuse – She was as much a victim as we were, in some ways, and I believe she felt her life and ours were in danger if we did not keep things going as they were. I think she wanted some control over it so it would be over sooner and she knew she would be less brutal than my father or brothers.

  • bnlfan4444

    The thing that frightens me most about the father’s behavior in this video is not the fact that he used ‘spanking’ (I was spanked as a child and have no emotional scars from it, though I was never hit with a belt). It’s that this man is so visibly out of control. People might argue that a child should be afraid of consequences, but they should NOT be afraid of their parent and they should NOT feel genuinely unsafe in their home.

    Not only does he proceed with punishment after the mother says she’s already spanked their daughter, but he doesn’t seem to be restraining himself at all. In fact, he looks like he’s not even ABLE to restrain himself – he’s too angry. When Hillary doesn’t immediately comply by bending over the bed, he strikes in frustration, over and over again. He threatens to strike her on the face and claims that he ought to beat her and beat her and beat her. When her mother takes the belt from him, you can see that he tries to take it from her hand a few times and she doesn’t let him have it. Instead of noticing this and realizing that he is out of control, instead of removing himself from the situation to cool down and ensure that he is not letting his emotions control him, he just gets a different belt.

    These aren’t the actions of a parent that is disciplining their child, they’re the actions of an angry, violent adult who is lashing out. It doesn’t matter if the child did something that should legitimately be disciplined, because he is not in the mental or emotional state to discipline her acceptably. Discipline is supposed to be a tool to teach the child, something measured and proportional to the behavior that needs correcting, but under no circumstances should a parent use it as an excuse to vent their anger on someone weaker than themselves. When the parent loses control over their actions during punishment, especially when it’s such physical punishment, it’s no longer discipline – it’s abuse.

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/ Retha

    “women like author AfricaTurtle here [stand ] by their husbands, which the writer here is actually still committed to doing, which makes sense since he hasn’t actually done anything abusive”
    Read again: Africaturtle did call him abusive. Do you know her relationships better than she does?

    ” …the divorce rate for …. demand subservience from their boyfriends is over 60%. (You prefer matriarchy to patriarchy, which doesn’t work.) while women like AfricaTurtle here only divorce about 10% …”
    Dr. David H. Olson found that (81%) of equalitarian (egalitarian) couples were happily married, while (82%) of couples where both spouses perceived their relationship as traditional (hierarchical) were mainly unhappy. The inability to share leadership equally (couple inflexibility) was the top stumbling block to a happy marriage. You are probably – I never saw your source – right that matriarchy is unsuccessful most of the time too, just like patriarchy.

    “women like AfricaTurtle here only divorce about 10% and have more successful marriages. ”
    Newsflash: AfricaTurtle do not have a successful marriage. She has a glitter of hope for an up-to-now abusive one, now that she dumped patriarchy and believe in equality.

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/ Retha

    I’m sorry! Delete! I was reacting to a comment on another thread, and accidently responded here! Totally irrelevant!

  • Karen

    After this blew up, a friend of mine (a very conservative Christian) posted about how both the girl and her mother seem spoiled, and how stupid it was for them to sell out their “sugar daddy.”

    The thought of it still makes me see red. Needless to say, the friend was chewed out and defriended. I no longer talk to him. I don’t need someone like that in my life.

  • http://www.virtuousgirlhood.com RJ

    Now this is corporal punishment. This to me is abuse. I am growing up the oldest of a family of 8 and we are Christian’s and I have NEVER seen this happen in my home. Never. My parents might be homeschooling Christian’s, but this have never happened nor will it ever.

  • Lisa

    @Abba12 I know people say this all the time but… There is no justification, religious or otherwise, for hitting someone smaller and weaker than you who can’t defend themself. Africaturtle is right, once you’ve crossed that bridge, escalation of the assaults is very likely. My mother started out “disciplining” me with spankings as a pre-school age child. By the time I was 8-12 she was slapping, kicking and punching me on a regular basis… For my own good, because I disobeyed, of course. The abuse only stopped at 12 because it suddenly occured to me that I was as big/bigger than her and started hitting back. I’ve heard many other abuse victims say the same. Until they had the physical size and strength to defend themselves, their parent wouldn’t stop. But what if you never get the size/strength you need to make it stop? Then you end up with the kind of situation we’ve seen in the Adam’s house, where a person is being beaten well into their teens. Abba12, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. Every time you raise your hand to your helpless child, you are scarring them emotionally. They won’t forget, and you had better pray hard that someday, they’ll be able to forgive. Don’t count on it though.


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